Forget the iPhone 12 — iPhone 13 killer features just leaked

iPhone with Touch ID
(Image credit: Redmond Pie)

If the launch of the iPhone 12 has left you cold, then listen to what Apple has in store for the Phone 13.

These new details come from LeaksApplePro, who said that the features they list in their tweet came from an internal meeting at Apple where they discussed their plans for their 2021 flagship lineup. The leaker has a mixed reputation in the tech tipster world, and these leaked features aren't guaranteed to be what the engineers end up working on, but they could tease the Cupertino company's plans for the time being.

iPhone 13 Touch ID in the screen

First off, the iPhone 13 prototype allegedly uses a Touch ID sensor hidden beneath the display, with the active area covering the bottom half of the screen for easy access. The iPad Air 4 just introduced Touch ID on a new Apple device for the first time in some years, but the sensor is mounted on the power button. 

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An under-display version, which also got recently rumored by Jon Prosser and L0vetodream, would bring iPhones in line with most modern Android phones, and could mean the end of the notch if Apple decides to ditch Face ID at the same time.

No ports on iPhone 13 at all

It's been rumored for a while that the iPhone 13 wouldn't have a Lightning port for wired charging. Seeing LAP's tweet mention there will only be MagSafe or Smart Connector charging isn't a surprise. It also builds off of Apple's recent decision to stop shipping devices with charging bricks in order to reduce costs and electronic waste.

iPhone 13 redesigned batteries

A longer-lasting battery design wouldn't be an earth-shattering upgrade, but consider that Apple just introduced battery-hungry 5G connectivity to the whole iPhone 12 lineup. Adding more upgrades like the ones LAP reveals would mean a potentially even greater power drain, so more battery life is a necessity. Particularly when we've recently discovered the iPhone 12's battery is in fact smaller than those on the iPhone 11 series.

'Massive' camera improvement

The camera system's "massive improvement" sounds exciting but is too vague to conclude much from. We just saw the addition of LiDAR sensors to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, but perhaps it's time that Apple looked into increasing its cameras' resolutions beyond 12MP. Or we could finally see an upgrade to a bigger periscope optical zoom of 5x or more to catch up to Android phones. 

iPhone 13 120Hz refresh rate

Finally, LeaksApplePro said the iPhone 13 will finally get the 120Hz refresh rate we've been expecting. This feature was thought to be arriving this year on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, except it sounds like it got ditched due to engineering difficulties and costs. Like under-display fingerprint readers, 120Hz refresh rates are common on Android rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE or OnePlus 8T, and Apple getting in on the action would be good news for its many loyal users.

This year's iPhone launch was delayed due to pandemic-related problems. Assuming everything is back on track, we'd expect an iPhone 13 to launch next September, the usual month for Apple to bring out its new flagship phone. 

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

  • N. Ringheim
    So all in all it's most of the things that play catch up to other smartphone manufacturers, and stuff people were hoping to see this year. I just think I am going to stick to my 2 year old P30 pro with under screen fingerprint reader, 5 X optical zoom with 48 mpix, big battery.... until someone more innovative comes along.